STEM Funding to Cease Clowning Around?
Excerpt from The Atlantic
By ALANNA SCHUBACH
The irony of the cuts in funding for academic science is that the Obama administration has simultaneously made a big push for greater investment on STEM education. The president has called upon American universities to graduate 1 million more STEM majors than they do currently, a move that would ostensibly broaden the pool of applicants to graduate from science programs—the same ones that downsized in the wake of the sequester. “Part of what we try to do is raise awareness about that,” Poulakidas said, of the discrepancy between STEM advocacy and funding for graduate researchers in those fields. “When we talk to legislators, everybody says they love the NSF and NIH, that they are strong supporters of these agencies. But the bottom line is, where’s the beef?”
Congress delivered quite a bit of “beef” to the NIH when it passed the spending bill in December. In a statement, NIH Director Francis Collins called the hike “the most encouraging budget outcome in 12 years.”
Read the complete story in The Atlantic
The question of funding, where it comes from, how long it is available and what hoops have to be traversed to acquire substantial means have caused many to throw their proverbial hands to the heavens. The challenge becomes at what cost to our educational system, to our global position, are we willing to go to whittle away opportunity.
If there is a silver lining it just might come in the growing acknowledgment that K-12 IS connected to higher education and subsequently to career readiness. Each uniquely supports the student-life-cycle and are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps open dialogue about STEM funding will allow for deeper dives into educational spending (inclusive of research etc.) practices, linkage to ones’ successful navigation of the student-life-cycle thus repositioning the U.S. for long term global successes.